[ loo-suh n ]
/ ˈlu sən /

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to become loose or looser (sometimes followed by up): His hold loosened. Your shoes will loosen up with wear.

Origin of loosen

First recorded in 1350–1400, loosen is from the Middle English word loosnen. See loose, -en1
Related formsloos·en·er, noun
Can be confusedloose loosen lose loss
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for loosened

British Dictionary definitions for loosened


/ (ˈluːsən) /


to make or become less tight, fixed, etc
(often foll by up) to make or become less firm, compact, or rigid
(tr) to untie
(tr) to let loose; set free
(often foll by up) to make or become less strict, severe, etc
(tr) to rid or relieve (the bowels) of constipation
Derived Formsloosener, noun

Word Origin for loosen

C14: from loose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for loosened



late 14c., losnen, later lousen (early 15c.), from loose (v.) + -en (1). Related: Loosened; loosening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper